The Oh She Glows Cookbook! (and what I “gave up” for Lent)

Today is the first day of Lent that is marked by Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church. Usually people talk about what they are going to give up for Lent, and this year I have decided to identify what I can eliminate that is going to make me better. I have decided to turn off social networking sites Facebook and Instagram and spend more time focusing on this blog and trying out new recipes that make the tummies of my family very happy.

I also created a mock Instagram account, so I can continue to document daily happenings of my life since most of my photo albums contain my Instagram-filtered-and-captioned photos. Today, my 9-year old daughter ran to school for the first time — 2 miles in under 16 minutes! And, my husband and I spoke to a Psychology of Marriage class at my Alma Mater, Santa Clara University, for the fourth year in a row. We received so much positive feedback from the class, and this is my favorite quote from one of the students (another offered to be our babysitter!):

I feel like I took a lot away from their experiences and many of the things they said will resonate with me. It definitely helped to bring the course material to life and really put what we’ve been learning in perspective.

Arun and I enjoying the beautiful Santa Clara University campus with the Mission Church in the background.

Arun and I enjoying the beautiful Santa Clara University campus with the Mission Church in the background. He was super happy to be there 🙂

Once I returned to my office, I was checking out a few food websites to find a link to my FAVORITE salad dressing recipe that I served last night at a dinner party I hosted that featured an authentic Spanish seafood paella made with wild seafood by my mother in law, plus a kale salad with Raw Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing. redpepperandgingersaladdressing

That’s when I realized that one of my favorite bloggers, Angela Liddon, launched her brand new cookbook today called The Oh She Glows Cookbook, ohsheglowscookbooknamed after her blog entitled Oh she Glows! I can only imagine that she chose only the best of the best recipes, and I can’t wait to pick up my copy. She is one of the few gluten-free, vegan bloggers whose recipes are 100% consistent and delicious every single time. I arrived at work this morning and saw that my sister had a copy sitting on her desk because she pre-ordered it! I sifted through it for a bit, and there is a picture for every single recipe in the cookbook — SCORE!!

On this Ash Wednesday, it must be an omen for me to buy a copy ASAP to support the fabulous recipes she has on her blog. Can’t wait to get cookin’ and show you what’s in store!



Homemade Herbal Remedies

My son was up a few times on Wednesday night with a cough, so I woke up early to put together a few homemade herbal remedies for him. I recently took an 8-week class called Beginning with Herbs hosted by Sweet Herb Medicinals, and it was an amazing, empowering class. I now have my own tiny apothecary of herbs and spices that I’ve been dying to put to work. My children have been bragging lately about how they don’t get sick because they get frequent doses of Fire Cyder (also known as Cyclone Cider on the SHM website) and Elderberry Syrup, which has kept them immune throughout the school year. When I see sick children around them, I increase their doses of my immunity-building treats, and they stay healthy. The key is to catch the illness as soon as there are any symptoms.

So this morning I was proactive and started looking through my favorite kidsherbbookherbal book called A Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All Ages — and this book has been perfect for me in my beginning stages of herbs. I am gaining more knowledge and comfort with the basic 13 herbs discussed in the book, and I purchased each of the herbs mentioned, so I always have them on hand. The best sources to purchase herbs and supplies are from Pacific Botanicals and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Since my son had a cough with phlegm and wasn’t feeling hot or cold, I made him the following:

HERBAL TEA FOR COUGH herbalteamullein

1 tsp mullein, 1/2 tsp elder berries, 1/2 tsp elder flowers, 1 tsp wild cherry bark, 1/2 tsp licorice root, and let it steep for 3-5 minutes in 1 1/2 cups of water.

HERBAL SYRUP FOR COUGH herbalsyrupmullein

1 ounce of the following herbs: mullein, licorice root, wild cherry bark, elder berries, elder flowers, medicinal ginger spice, and lemon balm, then I simmered in water until reduced, then added raw organic agave syrup (because I ran out of raw local honey), and organic vegetable glycerine.


The herbs used for these herbal pills are marshmallow root, licorice root, fennel seed,
and astragalus root, combined and sweetened with with raw organic agave. The picture shown is solid form prior to baking the pills. We call this herbal “goo” that can be kept in its solid form in the refrigerator for up to six months instead of taking the extra time to measure, form, and bake these pills.

It may have been overkill with all of these different options considering he was barely sick, but I left him home with the babysitter today, and I didn’t want it to be stressful to remember when to take what, so I wanted him to take whichever one of the three options above he felt like taking every few hours.

Low and behold, these herbal remedies really did work, and I’m happy to report that his illness did not progress. Usually when my kids start out with a cold, they always end up with the croup for several days. Because I now pay close attention to symptoms, I am able to combat the start of the illness at the onset and keep it from getting more severe.

I’m pretty much in love with all of my newfound herbal knowledge, and I highly recommend learning from an herbalist, so you also can offer your family that extra level of customized health care.

*Disclaimer: This information is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. This is general information for educational purposes only.